Now for a short post, which shows the kind of commissioning brief a travel writer might get. (Want to read from the start? Here’s pt 1.)
FYI, for any potential travel writers out there, this is how short and punchy you need to keep your pitches to editors, though perhaps with a couple of suggestions thrown in to illustrate your idea.
Allaboutyou.com, which commissioned the features, is a portal for the readers of Good Housekeeping, Country Living, She, Prima, House Beautiful and Coast magazines. It has 470,000 unique users per month. It publishes some features from the magazine but also commissions fresh website content.
Here are the two briefs from the travel editor.
1. Romantic places UK: top 10 most romantic places in the UK, the actual place, not a hotel so people can do a day trip/walk/pop in if they’re passing without spending £££ to stay the night. If it’s a spectacularly romantic place to stay in a romance-inducing place, that’s fine, or where the accommodation is synonymous with the destination.
2. Romantic places worldwide: top 10 most romantic places in the world. Can include loved-up accommodation as with this one, as people aren’t as likely to be passing. Include a where to stay, how to get there – whether it’s package tour operator or just flight details for a place, or accom details if accom. These 2 features aren’t necessarily a destination guide but more of a general romantic travel theme. Also can you supply a pic for each frame of the above 2 galleries – if PR shots are not suitable, source a ref no from one of our image libraries.
As you can see, it’s a pretty open brief – so there was fun to be had with the theme –but there is also a heck of lot of detail work to do in finding an image to go with each blurb and also pin down prices, accommodations, travel details, etc. However, I had a cunning plan – to be blogged next in ‘tools of research’.
Here are the published features:
- Behind the scenes of a travel feature – pt 1: transparency and the trouble with top tens
- Behind the scenes of a travel feature – pt 3: the seven tools of feature research
- Behind the scenes of a travel feature – pt 4: the results of the Google Docs experiment
- Behind the scenes of a travel feature – pt 5: 101 romantic places around the world